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Showing posts from September, 2013

Broken Pickers — Understanding the need to compulsively choose unsuitable partners

Why do a human beings develop the tendency to fall again and again into unsatisfying relationships? Why do we repeat the past, even after developing awareness into the characteristics of unsuitable partners?

During our most vulnerable and formative years, each of us seeks reliable security, empathy, appreciation and encouragement from our caretakers, who serve as our developmental role models. We need to be presented with an array of aspirational skills, talents, behaviors and qualities worth developing over life, such as compassion, humor, creativity, resilience and so on; the human brain is a largely imitative organ, and we need observable targets if we are to evolve and progress throughout life.

While no parent or guardian can be anywhere near perfectly attuned or supportive, dependable caretakers understand how long their children can tolerate a break from visual contact and touch, or go without a supportive and caring structure, before restoring connection. Remember, infants can…

the glorification of busyness

One of the most uncomfortable experiences in contemporary life seems to be waiting: we'll do practically anything to avoid it. From the small screens of our smart phones and internet browsers we expect immediate connection to what's going on with our work, friends, blogs, social media pages, internet dating messages and on; a people hooked by the promise of being-in-the-loop, always available, tuned in, tied up. No wonder there's a coffee shop selling 20 ounce acetlycholine blast offs on every corner: Who has time to slow down?
We're constantly fine-tuning and upgrading life towards ever greater efficiency, whereas downtime means something's gone awry and free time is a sign of sheer, irresponsible self-indulgence. Behavior that a generation earlier was symptomatic of mania—a constant flow of shifting desires, overly ambitious plans, unlikely leaps from one conversational topic to another, inadequate attention spans, the compulsive need to be constantly on the mov…

Proof of Life on Earth

It's reported that some indigenous cultures believe that photographs steal a bit of our soul, that Aboriginals and other island cultures believe that each image takes something of our essence from us. And in a way they're absolutely right. Each instance in which we try to 'capture a moment' we lose understanding that its slipping past us, we'll never get it back, that we've failed to attend to it with the integrity of full sensory awareness.

Such an observation, of course, runs counter to our beliefs, for it seems that we have become as interested in the representation of life as the actual experience of it. From arriving at scenic vistas to the most mundane meal, from nights on the town to resting in our most private moments, the obligation is to whip out a smart phone, take a snapshot and publish the images soon after as a kind of documentation that it really happened, and we really exist, that our lives are so very full. And perhaps there's even an underl…

Shelf Life of the Shrink-Wrapped Heart

It's taught that the Buddha managed to live Twenty Eight years before encountering old age, sickness and death. Today such a remove from distressing events is all but impossible to imagine. For unsettling images are found everywhere; tucked amongst a stream of wedding and birth announcements, travel photographs and restaurant reviews that unwind on social media; or the quick glimpse at a news outlet, bombarding us with horrific scenes, videos of people running from explosive discharges or flooding rivers, underscored by frantic announcements, dire bulletins, and wild speculation, packaged into the two minute news clip. Watching helpless from a distance, we're left to shudder and sigh, lean back in our chairs and wonder if there's anything can we do to help or even understand what it all means.

All of which leaves us with little to do but sign petitions and shake our heads in dismay. (Only the boorishly political find easy answers amidst incomprehensible, faraway mayhem.) I…